4. College Football News Preview 2020: Pitt Panthers Defense 3 Things To Know
– If Pitt doesn’t have the most productive pass rushing defensive line in college football, some other team is going to be crushing it up front. This is an NFL-sized line with all of the parts back but senior Amir Watts at tackle.
Not only does the No. 1 sacking team in college football get back killer defensive tackle Jaylen Twyman – who led the team with 10.5 sacks – but it also gets back senior Patrick Jones on one end and junior Deslin Alexandre on the other side – they combine for 14 sacks.
Oh yeah, and Rashad Weaver is back from his knee injury after coming up with 6.5 sacks and 14 tackles for loss in 2018.
– The linebacking corps needs a little reworking, but it doesn’t have quite as many responsibilities as most groups – the D line does most of the heavy lifting behind the line. However, senior Phil Campbell and junior Cam Bright are playmakers who can get behind the line. The corps needs a thumper on the inside, and that’s where 6-2, 250-pound senior Chase Pine should fit in.
– The pass defense should’ve been a wee bit better considering it had the luxury of the best pass rush in the country helping the cause. Paris Ford is an all-star caliber safety who led the team with 97 tackles, but Dane Jackson will be missed at one corner but second-leading tackler Damar Hamlin is back at one safety job. There have to be more interceptions, and it starts with senior Damarri Mathis at corner – he was second on the team behind Ford with two picks.